On June 11, 2015, the Association installed Michael Scodro, former law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the United States Supreme Court, former Illinois Solicitor General, and current partner at Jenner & Block LLP, as its 48th President. Held at the Union League Club in Chicago, the luncheon was a festive occasion that also celebrated outgoing President Steven F. Pflaum's many accomplishments over the prior bar year; and featured the Installation of Clare J. Quish as the the Association's new Treasurer, and Don. R. Sampen, Elizabeth Butler, Kimberly Jansen, and Beth A. Bauer as Directors.
Outgoing president Steven F. Pflaum opened the luncheon by welcoming the many distinguished guests in attendance, which included judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Illinois Supreme Court, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Cook County Circuit Court. Also in attendance were eight judges from the Republic of Gabon, including the equivalent of that country's Chief Justice. Finally, Pflaum recognized some very special guests - Michael Scodro's family, including his wife, Tracey, and their children, as well as Scodro's former boss, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
President Pflaum then recapped the many successes over the past year, including unique luncheons that covered a wide-ranging topics germane to appellate advocacy and writing, and the ALA's commitment to improving the administration of justice. Pflaum noted that the Association had established an exploratory committee to help assist pro se parties on appeal in the First Appellate District and that the Association had implemented a program focused on playing a constructive role in reforming how reviewing court jurists in Illinois are selected. In his closing remarks as president, Pflaum noted that Michael Scodro was both incredibly accomplished and down to earth, and that he always brings out the best in people.
Thereafter, Attorney General Madigan administered the oath of office. In introducing President Scodro, the Attorney General noted that his resume is "triple platinum" and that his talents match his credentials. The Attorney General recalled that President Scodro served as a zealous appellate advocate, and that he argued the most complex cases before the highest courts. Most important, the Attorney General noted, is that, in addition to his many talents, President Scodro is "incredibly down to earth."
After being sworn in, President Scodro thanked past President Pflaum and the Attorney General, and also thanked his family. In doing so, President Scodro recalled some pithy advice that his son, who was then 7 years old, shared as Scodro prepared for an oral argument before the United States Supreme Court: "Dad, don't screw this up."
President Scodro shared his vision for the upcoming bar year. Scodro noted that the Association is an intimate bar group with members who are dedicated to the craft of appellate advocacy. The Association and its members continue to strive for creative ways to hone their unique skills and to also improve the system. Toward that end, the Association will continue to host many informative events throughout the state focusing on appellate practice and procedure; continue its commitment to improving the system by reaching out to law students and helping pro se litigants navigate the system; and continue to learn from our colleagues on the bench and